Determinants of Quality of Life in Patients With Intestinal Failure Receiving Long-Term Parenteral Nutrition Using the SF-36 Questionnaire: A German Single-Center Prospective Observational Study

Blüthner EBednarsch JStockmann MKarber MPevny SMaasberg SGerlach UAPascher AWiedenmann BPratschke JPape UF

 2019 Mar 13. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1531. [Epub ahead of print]




Parenteral nutrition (PN) is a life-sustaining therapy for patients with chronic intestinal failure (IF) but inevitably has an impact on patients’ quality of life (QoL). The purpose of this study was to examine multiple aspects of QoL by utilizing the standardized Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey.


Between 2014 and 2017, a total of 90 adult patients with IF who were receiving PN were prospectively enrolled in an observational study. All subjects underwent nutrition status assessment, liver assessment, blood tests, and QoL assessment based on the SF-36. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify determinants of 8 domains and 2 summary scales of the SF-36.


Analysis of the SF-36 questionnaire data showed that QoL was significantly worse compared with the general German population across all categories. Multivariable analysis revealed that bioelectrical impedance analysis of phase angle (1/10 categories), stoma/fistula (4/10 categories), oral intake (4/10 categories), infusions per week (1/10 categories), duration of PN (1/10 categories), citrulline (4/10 categories), and hemoglobin levels (1/10 categories) are independent risk factors affecting QoL.


This study uses the largest cohort of IF patients assessed by the standardized SF-36 questionnaire to comprehensively analyze QoL. Presence of oral intake, presence of ostomy, and citrulline levels were independently correlated with 4 of 10 categories of the SF-36. These results indicate that to improve QoL for IF patients, clinical care should focus on addressing the social and emotional value of oral intake, educational interventions, early stoma closure, and application of new targeted therapies.


SF-36; intestinal failure; parenteral nutrition; quality of life

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